Thestrengthof the Victorian Country Cups circuit goes on display again this Saturday night when the final of the Group Two 2014 Horsham Cup takes place.
Four quality heats were held last Tuesday over the demanding 480 metre trip, with some of the state’s most consistent performers advancing to Saturday night’s final.
Unfortunately last year’s winner Peter Rocket has had to withdraw from the final due to injury, but his place will be taken by Group One Silver Chief winner Ollie Bale. The eight finalists have won no less than 113 races between them, so they certainly know what is required when it comes to chasing.
Youngster Warrior King was the fastest qualifier of the four heats, stopping the clock at 26.75. That time is just 0.07 outside the long-standing track record set by Crash back in 2004.
ARG spoke to connections of every greyhound involved to get an insight into how they believe their charges will fare in the $43,750 to-the-winner event.
Comments: Tom Dailly (Co-Trainer) – “It was a tough run in the heat after his triple somersault Saturday night. He has drawn nicely and will hopefully get a clear run. We know he will be strong to the line. Crump will be hard to beat getting a clear run from the eight.”
Comments: Jamie Ennis (Co-Trainer) – “Box three looks okay, the only concern is Musquin Bale, who drew directly outside us last week and he did come out but probably stays straight. If anything, he uses the track a little bit and gave us a chance to drive through. If I have a concern this week, that would be it.”
Comments: Lyn Smith (Trainer) – “She hasn’t had a lot of luck with the box draws, but what can you do. She’s pulled up great and is jumping out of her skin. I couldn’t be happier with her at the moment. She has got to do everything right, she’s only really running for luck. You are basically there, hoping that somebody else makes a mistake. She’s not blessed with any early pace, she’s basically in the hands of what the other dogs around her do. She loves the track, she hasn’t been out of the money on the track and she hasn’t been out of the money out of box four either.”
Comments: Jason Thompson (Trainer) – “He is in another final. He’s obviously going well, it was a very good heat run but he just can’t draw a box in all of these finals he gets in. This dog has never had any luck in his whole career. He’s had 43 starts and drawn the red twice and he’s a desperate railer. If you watch his heat win, he railed his ears off turning for home and that’s all he wants to do. It’s very disappointing to continually get bad boxes with, what I think, is a pretty good dog. He had to show a fair bit of tenacity. I know Warrior King went two lengths quicker then him but I think his run was every bit as good as his given the circumstances. I think he is as good as anything in the final and if he can somehow find the front, he will be very hard to beat, but from box five it’s going to be hard again.”
Comments: Troy Iwanyk (Trainer) – “He injured himself in Perth. It was an injury enforced break and we fixed a few things up with him and got on top of a few injuries and I think he’s come back from the break a lot better but he was probably still underdone going into that race, so I am hoping that he can find a bit more on Saturday. He’s pulled up terrific, he has absolutely pulled up a treat. That was his main concern, he’s come up good, I’ve just got to hope he comes out of the boxes a bit better on Saturday night. Box eight looks to be ideal for him but you never know how these races are going to pan out. He had box eight in the Warragul Cup and that ended up being the undoing of him, he just got interfered with as the dogs in front of him collided. It can always work against you but it does give him his chance to stay off the track and do his own thing.”
Comments: Looks tested against these dogs and will need luck if gaining a start. Place chance looks best.
Best Horsham Times
The race is not flushed with early speed. Musquin Bale (2) or Empire Allen (7) could well find themselves in the early lead. Hawk Alone (1), Warrior King (3), Innocent Til (5) and Ollie Bale (9) will be four dogs that look to muster up early and vie for a good position. The key for them is avoiding interference in the run to the turn.
Evie’s Entity (4) is the only bitch in the race and has a real penchant for the track. She is another who will need room early in the hope that she can secure a clear run to get a crack at them in the home straight.
Crump (8) looks perfectly boxed out wide and could well get a clear run around the field to unleash his customary withering burst to the line in the long Horsham straight.
A case can be made for almost every runner in the race with the box draw appearing to suit Crump and Hawk Alone. Luck in the running will be everything with the winner certain to be the dog who makes the most of the opportunities they are afforded. This final promises to be an absolute cracker.